Computer Weekly commissions: October 2021

I am working on the following articles, which will appear in Computer Weekly in October:

Cloud DR: DIY or Disaster Recovery as a Service

The cloud is now the main backup destination for a growing number of businesses. And the range of businesses offering disaster recovery as a service is growing too.

But is disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) always the best option? Or is it better to develop a solution in house, using off the shelf (cloud) technologies?

The piece will look at the benefits of DIY approaches, and the drawbacks, and compare these to the benefits (and drawbacks) of DRaaS. The piece will also summarise the range of DRaaS services on the market, and set out the best use cases for each.

I’d welcome analyst comment and/or industry case studies for this piece. Deadline for leads: Thursday 16th September.

Where next for the data warehouse, and what might replace it?

Has the conventional data warehouse had its day? And what could replace it? Conventional, on-premises data warehouse technology now competes with a range of emerging technologies, including data virtualisation, “data lakehouses”, and cloud data warehouses.

What role will these newer technologies play? Are they likely to supplant the conventional, on-premises, datacentre approach, and if so why?

I am keen to speak to analysts and consultants in order to form a market overview, but also CIOs whose preferences are either for the new, or indeed the conventional, technology. The deadline is Wednesday 22nd September.

For either article please get in touch in the first instance by email.

New storage articles for Computer Weekly

I am working on two new feature articles for Computer Weekly. There is some overlap between the two topics, so I am posting them both here.

The topics are:

Key questions to ask suppliers about storage-as-a-service consumption models

5 things you need to know about cloud file services

For the first piece, this is a brief for CIOs and their teams sourcing cloud storage. We will come up with a ranked list of questions IT teams should ask vendors. These could include:

  • payment models
  • how usage is calculated
  • how does pricing change as demand goes up or down
  • how can I upgrade systems
  • minimum contract commitments
  • what is the maximum (or minimum) storage capacity the vendor can offer?

There might be other points that could be added to the list. I cannot use vendor quotes directly but can look at research, and take analyst comments.

For the second piece, we are aiming to distinguish between fully featured cloud file services, including those from the “big three” and file and sync type services such as Box or Dropbox.

The piece will set out the benefits and limitations of cloud-based file services and explain how they are used. And the article will identify the main vendors, both pure play and those that are part of a wider cloud (storage) offering.

The deadline for leads and content is 1700hrs, Tuesday 17th August. These articles will be published in September. If you can help, please submit any ideas or content by email .

Upcoming feature: NVMe over Fabric: the latest state of play

For Computer Weekly, I am writing an explainer on NVM over fabrics.

The piece will cover:

  • what’s driving IT departments to deploy NVMe over fabrics
  • what are they
  • how and why are they used
  • what are their benefits and downsides
  • an overview of who makes what (including point NVMe over fabrics manufacturers, array makers etc.)

I am looking for background information, use cases, case studies and overviews of the market. I am happy to consider vendor information, but can’t promise to use direct quotes.

The deadline for submissions is 12 noon London time, Thursday 24 June.

Please submit any ideas or content by email .

Many thanks

Upcoming article: Real Time Analytics

I am currently researching a feature on real time analytics for Computer Weekly. This will form the introduction to an eBook, to appear in a few weeks’ time.

The piece will cover current trends in real time analytics. What is driving their use, which technologies are involved, how are they deployed, and above all, what are the business benefits?

The piece will establish what real time means, in terms of analytics, and how organisations structure their data collection, analysis and management processes, around the idea of a constant stream of data. And it will also examine the barriers that need to be overcome, to make all this work.

I am keen to hear from potential contributors — analysts, integrators and consultants, and potentially vendors (at the chief data scientist/CIO/CTO level – no sales people please) and from organisations using real time data.

If you have a suggested interviewee, please drop me an email with a few bullet points setting out their points of view, and availability for interviews from June 1st.

Upcoming data storage articles for Computer Weekly

I am looking for input for two upcoming articles for the data storage section of Computer Weekly.Article 1: How has backup changed, post the pandemic?

In this article we will look at how the changes in working patterns during the pandemic, including home working, have changed backup requirements, practices, and technology.

Areas we will look at include:

  • Backing up remote and employee-owned devices
  • Backing up SaaS applications and cloud instances
  • The impact on maintenance of IT, especially data centres
  • How remote / home working impacts restore and recovery processes

This is not an exhaustive list, and I am open to other suggestions, as well as examples.

The deadline for leads or information is 1700hrs, Friday 14th May.

Article 2: Storage metrics explained

What are the main storage metrics used in the industry? What do they mean, and how do we use them? This explainer piece will set out the most important terminology. We are also interested in new and emerging metrics, maybe those driven by new types of storage technology.

The deadline for leads or information is 1700hrs, Tuesday 18th May.

To submit information or interview leads for each article please use these links to send an email:

Pandemic and backup tech

Storage metrics

Many thanks.

Upcoming article: Computational storage: One year on

For Computer Weekly, I will be taking another look at computational storage.

Just over a year ago, I wrote this piece setting out some of the basics of the technology.

For this follow up article, we will revisit the advantages of computational storage, the technologies it draws on, and the reasons organisations might use it.

We are particularly interested in any trends around the technology. Is take up or acceptance increasing? Have the drivers and use cases changed? And how has the market matured – have new vendors emerged, or existing vendors, expanded their offerings?

In addition to information about vendor offerings, and commentary from consultants or analysts, I’m keen to see any real-world case studies of computational storage deployments that have gone live within the last year. Ideally, these should be UK based, or internationally known organisations.

The deadline for submitting leads is 1700 London time on Thursday 15 April. As ever, the best format submissions is by email

Upcoming article: the benefits of hyper-converged infrastructure

For Computer Weekly, I’m looking at how hyper-converged systems benefit their users.

The piece will break down the main reasons organisations invest in HCI. These could include ease of deployment, resource utilisation, lower demand on skills than conventional architectures, scalability, and their usefulness to SMEs or remote offices.

I am interested in examples of successful HCI deployments, and commentary from industry analysts. Note we cannot quote vendors, although vendor-backed research can be used.

As ever, the best way to contact me is by email, no later than Thursday 12th March,

with a brief introduction to yourself or your client.

Upcoming commission: robotic process automation

For Computer Weekly, I am looking into this developing area of enterprise applications and workflows.

A brief outline is below.

In the first instance, I am keen to hear from experts in the field. Please email with your credentials and background in RPA, and links to relevant research or case studies. I will then follow up with a questions or an interview request.

Click here to email, no later than Friday 12th March.

Robotic process automation promises to seamlessly handle arduous workflows, linking disparate business processes, which normally require human intervention. Simpler process flows can be automated this way but there are few manual processes that only require someone rekeying information into systems that should really have been more tightly integrated. There is a level of intelligence, which cannot easily be shifted to a machine. While RPA is deterministic, an AI is probabilistic. We look at how RPA and bots that follow predetermined scripts are being made more intelligent.

Upcoming article: why use tape storage today?

For Computer Weekly I am writing a feature on tape.

As a data storage medium, tape has been on the verge of obsolescence for decades. But the format endures. Why are IT and data managers continuing to choose tape?

The piece will look at:

  • The limitations and benefits of tape in today’s data centric environments
  • New and emerging tape formats and technology enhancements, such as software defined tape
  • How tape works with other storage media, including the cloud
  • Key use cases for the various tape technologies currently on the market.

The deadline to suggest interviewees or to share research is Wednesday, 5th August at 1700 BST. Initial submissions by email please.

Upcoming article: where next for the EU and cybersecurity?

This month, Germany took over the EU’s rotating presidency.

For the Daily Swig, this piece will investigate the German Presidency’s plans to improve the EU’s cybersecurity posture.

One of the Presidency’s six priorities is strengthening security and common values. For security, this is focused on better cross-border collaboration, inn crime and counter-terrorism.

For cyber specifically, the Presidency wants closer cooperation on network and information security, especially for critical national infrastructure and “other enterprises in the public interest”. And devices sold in the EU will need a minimum level of IT security.

How will the EU achieve these goals? And are these the right priorities right now? The feature will ask whether the EU’s objectives will mean greater security for citizens, and also assess its impact on the cyber security community, including business, security vendors, the workforce and academia and research.

I’m keen to speak to experts from across the cybersecurity space, especially those who have worked on EU initiatives. Please email

your suggestions for interviewees, or background information, by 1700 BST, Thursday 9th July.